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Remittances by migrants will slow but remain large in 2015; big potential for leveraging remittances for development financing

Dilip Ratha's picture
Growth in global remittances, including those to developing countries, will slow sharply this year due to weak economic growth in Europe, deterioration of the Russian economy and the depreciation of the euro and ruble, says the latest issue of the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, which we have released today.

It’s time to repeal the remittances “Super Tax” on Africa

Dame Tessa Jowell's picture

Remittances are the shining light of development policy. While debate rages in austerity-hit Western capitals about spending on aid, remittances cost tax-payers nothing. Remittances to developing countries are worth nearly half a trillion dollars – that’s three times the level of aid – and they’re rising fast, quadrupling since the turn of the century. And remittances work. It’s hard to imagine a more efficient targeting system than people sending money home to their own families and the facts bear that out; remittances are linked to improved economic, health and education outcomes. And as if those benefits weren’t enough, remittances are a huge driver of financial inclusion, acting as a gateway to banking for the people sending and receiving them.

Call for Papers: Institutional Frameworks for Addressing Migratory Movements in Context of Environmental Change

Dilip Ratha's picture

Experts agree that the institutional frameworks for addressing migration, displacement and relocation in the context of environmental change are not well articulated. There is overall a lack of understanding of good practices in planned relocations and preventive resettlement. Moreover, most of the experiences studied so far have proved quite negative. Appropriate governance responses need to distinguish between rapid- and slow-onset events and take into account the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the community involved. There is also need for institutional frameworks capable of providing support to those who are not able or willing to leave the affected region and, therefore, remain behind. A symposium organized by KNOMAD’s Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Environmental Change and Migration in 2014 concluded: “a mapping exercise that identifies effective mechanisms for cooperation and coordination among different ministries and agencies would provide guidance to governments and international organizations as they move ahead in developing adaptation strategies involving human mobility.”
Call for Proposals
The TWG on Environmental Change and Migration plans to commission one or more papers that improve understanding of existing and new institutional frameworks addressing internal and international migration in the context of environmental change. The papers will be distributed widely, including for circulation at upcoming events such as the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Global Forum on Migration and Development, and the World Humanitarian Summit.

Remittances as significant predictor of food security in rural Bangladesh

Sylvia Szabo's picture
Food security is an integral part of human security framework and individual access to food is a substantial human right (Sepúlveda et al., 2004).  In Bangladesh, both human security of farmers and human right to food are often compromised due to a mixture of political, economic and environmental factors. Livelihoods of farmer communities are threatened by natural disasters, salinity intrusion and arsenic contamination (Faisal & Parveen, 2004).

Call for Papers: South-South Migration in Context of Environmental Change

Dilip Ratha's picture
Experts agree that most migration, displacement and planned relocation that take place in the context of environmental change is likely to occur within the developing world. Much of this South-South migration will occur within countries and across borders with the same region. At times, movements are likely to be towards places (within and across borders) that are themselves experiencing environmental changes.

Call for Proposal: Link between internal migration and rural and urban development

Dilip Ratha's picture
KNOMAD has been working on improving understanding on internal migration and urbanization. In 2014, KNOMAD worked on three aspects of internal migration: (i) drivers of internal migration, (ii) impact of internal migration, including on poverty reduction, and (iii) internal migration data. Some of the work is available as a KNOMAD Working Paper series and on KNOMAD website,  

Will falling oil prices lead to a decline in outward remittances from GCC countries?

Dilip Ratha's picture
The Gulf region is an important destination for migrant workers and perhaps the largest source of migrant remittances. Some 23 million foreign workers send home over $90 billion in remittances. On average, they make up around 50% of the population in the GCC countries, ranging from 31% in Saudi Arabia to 84% in Qatar (Table 1). Controlling for size, these countries are by far the largest sources of remittances, with an average of 5.7 percent of GDP in 2013 compared with only 0.7 percent in the United States.  

Table 1: Migrants and outward remittances in GCC countries, 2013
 Migrants and outward remittances in GCC countries, 2013

Diaspora Impact Investing 2.0

Alexander Dixon's picture

The Diaspora Investment Alliance (formerly the Rockefeller Foundation-Aspen Institute Diaspora Program), a program of the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., has undertaken a diaspora outreach series over the past year to investigate willingness and barriers to investing and/or donating back home. A major finding was that both willingness and barriers to doing so are high among diasporas. Consequently, if effective and efficient avenues to facilitate diaspora impact investing or donating were readily available, many individuals would use them. The starting point is thus an understanding of the reasons why migrants may decide not to invest in origin country development, even when they have both the desire and capacity to do so. Here are some of the major barriers to origin country investment and philanthropy expressed by diaspora communities.

Lack of Information and Transparency
Diasporans often do not have sufficient information on impact investment or donation options to make informed decisions. When it comes to investments, the costs of sourcing and vetting deals are often prohibitive for individual investors, particularly in markets with a lack of credit bureaus. On the donation side, there is an abundance of options – for instance, there are over 3,000 certified NGOs in the Philippines and over 7,000 registered NGOs in Kenya – yet there are no third party ratings (e.g., Charity Navigator) of these agencies.

What can the cost of Big Macs tell us about the relative attractiveness of sending remittances?

Christian Eigen-Zucchi's picture
Why do migrants send international remittances? They do so mainly because in caring about the well-being of their family and friends, they wish to convey purchasing power for a basket of goods and services. This is the same as individuals choosing among different goods and services to buy and consume (for themselves and for others), only that it crosses international borders.